How to Enable root SSH login on the ESXi host
In this article, I am going to share step by step procedure on how to enable root ssh login on the esxi host.
There might be many instances when the system admin may need to enable root ssh login on the esxi host. As ESXi console login does not allow copy-paste of commands and it may be daunting to type long disk ids etc which might be time-consuming and always possibilities of the typo.
Enabling root ssh will solve the issue and it enables and enhance the speed of work due to copy and paste.
Basically, as per security standard, many organization does not allow direct root ssh login as it may break all the acceptable access policies of the organization. So for your work you can enable and disable it once your work is completed.
Enabling and Disabling is almost the same as you just need to enable and disable direct ssh access to your ESXi Servers.
This is absolutely the same procedure as to how to enable direct root login in linux or most of the UNIX Linux operating system. The procedure is almost the same. It is exactly the same as linux and the base of ESXi is also Linux.
Step by step procedure on how to Enable root SSH login on the ESXi host
This is basically required ESXi Login Shell. Let`s see how to get an ESXi login.
How to get ESXI Login
Sometimes it becomes challenging and confusing even for experienced administrators also to recollect. There are two ways how you can achieve this.
1. How to get ESXi Shell through VMware V-Center
2. How to get ESXi Shell through Remote Console
In both methods, you need to disable lockdown mode and enable ESXi Shell as from 6.5 onwards you can not directly have ESXi Console using Alt+F2.
Through VMWare VCenter you can refer to how to disable lockdown mode and how to enable ESXi shell.
Related to as mentioned above using any method mentioned. You can log in via root from the ESXi login prompt.
2nd option you can use by login into the remote console normally gets configured either <ilo-server name> or <server name-ilo> as per best practices.
So you need to access the remote console using https://ilo-servername and need to enter admin credentials like Administrator/Password.
Login as root then you will get a prompt with a yellow background management interface and down the left-hand side corner, you will have the Press F2 option to get the management interface.
Here you will have many options including changing the root password, disable lockdown mode, and under the maintenance tab, you will have the option to enable ESXi Shell and Enable SSH option.
This option will be really helpful if you are using HTML based VMware Infrastructure as Enable ESXi Shell and Enable SSH may not be available while you may have disable lockdown mode.
In this case, you have only a console option feasible if you are using the HTML version of VMWare V-Center. So now you have ESXi Login Prompt. Enter root credentials or root equivalent credentials.
- Enable root SSH login on the ESXi host
Edit sshd_config and change value to enable from disable as it is by default in disable state.
# vi /etc/ssh/sshd_config PermitRootLogin enable :wq! # service sshd reload
SSH to host using PuTTy
Now you can directly login to the ESXi server using any terminal-based programs like Putty same as you can log in to any standard linux server. Do your work and do not forget to disable direct root login once your work is completed as stated above.
That,s it about how to Enable root SSH login on the ESXi host.
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